Sunday, 30 May 2010
The Week that Was
Do you know what, I actually cannot remember what's gone on this week, it really is all a blur. I know for certain that kitten season is well and truly upon us and there have been kittens being found here there and everywhere. It's so bad that when an inspector rang me to see if we could help she started the conversation off with..."this is making me cringe but don't suppose"....I howled with laughter because I knew, and she knew I knew, exactly what was coming next.
Each summer really is as bad as the next and I don't know how we will ever get on top of this problem. How can we get people to be responsible pet owners and neuter their animals. This is something I have given far too much thought to and I've come to the conclusion, after running promotions of free neutering, taking the mobile theatre to their doorstep, that the only way is to pay people and isn't that a sorry state of affairs?
So, Monday saw the arrival of the 3 cats from the Macclesfield branch. Whilst they are all sweet natured and beautiful they are also very timid. It is so sad to see as they are only 1 year old two of them and 9 month old the other. It just shows how they haven't been socialised or suitably handled and it's just criminal. They'll be OK though and in time they will come round, and because they aren't black or black and white they will find homes easier than they would do otherwise cos people prefer pretty kitties - they are tabby, tabby and white and ginger and white.
We also admitted Annie this week, a sweetie pie again, barely 6 months old that was found lost and lethargic in Whalley Range (sounds like lyrics from a Smiths song, doesn't it?). She is timid too but she'll get overlooked in favour of the others. We also got a black kitten found in a cardboard box by the Colgate factory in Salford - going to try a press release to see if we can get her a home. We also got a 5 week old kitty found abandoned by wheelie bins, but she's had to be tested for ringworm and spent the week in isolation at the clinic, which is so sad because she needs to be being loved in a foster home. And lined up for first thing Tuesday morning is two 9 week old kittens and a tabby cat, plus I have 2 adults on my imaginary waiting list that are living outside being fed by a neighbour after the owner allegedly fled domestic violence. They are barely one year old, unneutered males, but there simply isn't any space for them so next week I'll find a way, somehow.
Rehomings have been desperately slow this week but we had a lovely surprise when a family visited the cattery on Thursday and chose our beautiful Sindy. The home visit was done the next day and she went home on Saturday - super fast or what! Angel has gone to her new home on Saturday too and I know a family are going along this morning to choose two cats too. So I can't wait. I've had a bit of a laugh with them and predicted who they will fall for...I'm going to be so wrong aren't I?
We have finished assessing our two new dogs Holly and Red and they went up for adoption on Thursday and they have generated quite a bit of interest so far. In fact there is a family in Surrey who are very keen on Holly, so I'm keeping everything crossed for her. But I confess to being totally gutted that we have not had one iota of interest in Jack the greyhound - it's really quite saddening.
And Prince, who found a home last week, is proving to be a very naughty boy with the family's cat. I got a call from them on Thursday asking for advice. They have reassured me it would be an absolute last resort to return him as everyone loves him so much and the "children would never forgive her" if she did return him but to say he wants to eat-cat is putting it lightly!!!! Thank goodness they aren't phased. I got Catherine to call them back as it took her a year to get Juno to tolerate Milo.
So, on to my favourite subject - bunnies! Despite declaring we are closed to admissions at the start of the week I had a very strong moment of weakness when a call from our vets came through about an 8 week old baby who had got tangled up in a football net and broken its leg. Initially I was asked to help pay the bill for the owner but I refused and I'll tell you why:
1. 8 week old baby living outdoors alone is very wrong
2. playing in the garden unsupervised with hazards around is not responsible pet ownership
3. vet bills is part and parcel of pet ownership and why we recommend insurance
OK, so the majority of these reasons can be easily explained - the people were likely sold the baby by the pet shop at this ridiculously young age, the people won't have been told they need to live in pairs and they've probably never heard of pet insurance and probably did little research into rabbit ownership just like so many other people don't do. But, getting caught up in the football netting is not something I can reconcile with and proves the bunny was not being supervised.
So, I offered to pay for euthanasia or to take the bunny in. The owner said to the vet that her husband would be mad if he knew how much the treatment would cost and so could not spend that kind of money on the rabbit. So, the new kid's pet got given away and is probably to be replaced by another one for £10 from the local pet shop.
Dora, as she has now been named, has been operated on now and my Gillybobs is fostering her. Gilly has to gently introduce exercise so as to not jeopardise the repair. Yesterday Dora came out for a play in the playpen for the first time and I get the sneaky impression that Gilly is enchanted by her. The op so far will have cost around £200 and she will require a further xray to see how well it is healing and possibly even further intervention if it isn't healing well. So it makes you wonder, how much is a life worth (to some people)?
This case has contributed to my week-long ponder about how and when do we call time on an animal when the equivalent amount of money can be spent to rehabilitate/rehome so many more animals for the cost of just treating one. You see it never really used to be so concerning before because we were a relatively affluent charity but now that we aren't it's something we have to face up to. I don't have the answer but I know there must be one.
In Dora's case I do believe that it was money very well spent; she will heal and go on to live a very happy life thanks to our intervention. I've nursed baby bunny leg fractures before and they just get on with it even though they have to drag around an enormous cast, but you can't escape the fact that it all costs money that we don't always have.
The baby bunnies had their first photo shoot yesterday! They are not quite 1 week old but are all fully furred, eyes open, kissable little cutie pies! Two are distinctly runty and less developed and two are proper bruisers. I'm confident they are all going to make it but I am slightly dreading the next week or so as they venture out of their nest and start boinging everywhere cos the mess is going to be immense when it starts! But, it also happens to be the BEST bit of baby bunnying.
Catherine is now officially on holiday now for 3 weeks and we start the new month with 13 more animals in our care than we should have, despite rehoming 23 in May, and I have 3 events to organise this week alone and then a further 2 after that, not to mention all the vet runs and admissions yet to come. I am slightly panicked but it'll work itself out one way or the other, these things always do, but I'm not looking forward to the next week so I'm going to make the most of the bank holiday and get drunk!